The deeper we go into Administration #45 and the more situations similar to the Philadelphia incident are revealed, the more I recall my first, in-your-face experience with racism. It was at my first Chamber of Commerce mixer.
I went home and allowed myself to be physically ill. Then I called my neighbor, a White real estate agent from Arkansas. We were friends; he was accepting of people. I demanded that he tell me precisely what I was facing by being seen as a Black woman who was a block buster in an (essentially) all White community.
While I don’t talk about that experience nor the cavalcade of other situations that reinforce and validate (not part of my imagination nor sensitive feelings) that experience, racism exists and endures in many forms.
Examples of the “madness” are documented in many ways. Fortunately, our civil rights cases regarding freedom of speech and association, the separate but equal decisions exist to show what types of illogical exclusion is part of our history. It wasn’t that long ago that women broke the barriers and became accepted cadets at The Citadel and
It is not unconscious bias. It is lack of education, and therefore awareness, and the inability to see things from the other side of the picture. It is about not being able to see people of another race or ethnicity as human beings, individuals who have humanity and deserve respect.
Even in the Deep South, Southern hospitality was predicated on being respectful of others, no matter what their race or station. Unfortunately, it also meant certain members of the population were simply not allowed to partake of the American Pie in the same types of bites as others. To do so was considered a sin against society, violating community standards.
Fortunately, not all Whites held that belief nor practiced it. There were many who strove to cause positive change and more inclusion through their being part of various organizations and associations where their words could be heard and persuade others to see a different, better course from having inclusiveness. It sometimes takes being on the inside to be able to cause a shift in attitudes and positive changes.
Having these experiences has reinforced my belief and conviction that all people are created equal. Each of us deserves the right to reach the greatest possible potential. Therefore, in this matter, I am on the right path. I proclaim my status as an expert in the area of diversity, especially with regard to Title VII diversity. I will continue to develop knowledge and awareness of the issues as well as the case law and statutes that support the right to access. Thus saying, it is also important to be vigilant about the threats to those forms of access and rights to existence. Those rights are embodied in our Constitution and are considered civil rights.
Each specialist, each expert is one based on their particular slice of the picture. There are those who are lawyers and judges. There are also those who are arbitrators and mediators. Let us not overlook the administrative law judges of the EEOC and other governing bodies. And there are the advocates and consultants who focus in discrete issues where they have carved out their own specialties.
Contrary to the belief of some, this expertise is not predicated on mere opinion. In some instances it is developed via first-hand experiences, either witnessing the issue visited on others or having it inflicted on their own selves because of the deficiencies of the abusers.
As to a sampling of the content that has shaped these words, please consider these resources:
- Black Workers Really Do Need to Be Twice as Good, Gillian B. White, The Atlantic (Oct 7, 2015)Women’s Inclusion
- The first women of West Point, Kelly Schloesser, U.S. Army (October 27, 2010)
- For the first time, West Point’s top cadet is a black woman, Tom Vanden Brook, USA TODAY (Aug. 25, 2017 | Updated Aug. 26, 2017)
- Life After the Citadel: Shannon Faulkner Reflects on Her Historic Battle with the Elite Military College, JUJU CHANG, LIZ SINTAYSUZAN CLARKE via GMA (Dec. 8, 2009)
- Woman Becomes Top Cadet at the Citadel for First Time in College’s History
- The Citadel Fought the Admission of Women. Now a Female Cadet Will Lead the Corps., Richard Fausset, The New York Times (May 4, 2018)Separate but Equal Cases – see In Honor of Black History Month
- Sweatt v. Painter
- Pearson v. Murray
- Roberts v. City of Boston
- Brown v. Board of EducationRacial Profiling
- Korematsu v. United States (1944), Toni Konkoly is a production assistant at Thirteen/WNET
- Korematsu v. United States
- Why Korematsu Is Not a Precedent, Noah Feldman, OP-ED CONTRIBUTOR, The New York Times (Nov. 18, 2016)
- Gordon Hirabayashi, World War II Internment Opponent, Dies at 93, RICHARD GOLDSTEIN, The New York Times (JAN. 3, 2012)
- Yasui v. United StatesGenerally Regarding
- In Honor of Black History Month
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